The exhibition Paintings from Remote Communities: Indigenous Australian art from the Laverty collection,
Aboriginal artists living in isolated areas of
The curation of Paintings from Remote Communities respects the artistic strategy of buwayak through limited use of didactic information about specific paintings - letting the artworks speak for themselves. There is even no thematic narratives ensued via the exhibition layout rather curator and gallery director Rhana Devenport has chosen to represent the thirty-four artists in regional groupings. While each artist’s work is distinctly individualistic in style many share similarities with cartographic and microbiological imagery. Of the most striking is Helicopter Joey Tjungarrayi’s work entitled Tjuwiligarra 2002. Viewed best from a distance this intense painting evokes both fear and beauty. Intrepid blood red and russet lines seem to navigate the perimeters of the canvas and reverberate around a black void. The void has a frighteningly pupil-like appearance from which things are observed or consumed like a vortex. More importantly however this painting also resembles typographical maps, electromagnetic fields or microscopic life. Visual imagery that keeps reoccurring in modern science that has also been embedded in the art of ancient cultures around the world – significant perhaps of innate instinctual knowledge of the world and our place within it.
Another significant artistic development featured in the exhibition is the integration of textiles and painting. Emerging out of the traditions of weaving artists such as Regina Wilson applied their knowledge of making mats, bags and fish nets to painting. Wilson’s work Syaw (fish net) 2005 depicts intricate grids of threadlike lines - painted in irregular shaped clusters of different weaves and interlaced at the fringes much like a patchwork quilt. The result is a mesmerising matrix of tort and tatted line upon which one could consider the metaphors of intertwined diversity within communities or the patchwork adaptation of multicultural fusion.
Paintings from Remote Communities is a visually stunning and dynamically conceptual experience that will either intrigue, confuse or elate. This exhibition also proves that not only is cultural diversity a precursor to innovation it is also that which keeps us healthy as communities and individuals.